Global Cardiovascular Health Research Group

Global Cardiovascular Health Research Group

Research topic

Cardiovascular diseases  (CVD) are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The contribution of low- and middle-income countries to the global burden of CVD is estimated at 80%, characterized by higher mortality rates and high burden of morbidity in part due to sub-optimal care related to health system challenges. Our work aims to study cardiovascular risk factors and disease outcomes internationally and develop, implement and scale-up cost-efficient approaches to support clinical decision-making for primary and secondary prevention of CVD globally.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide with low- and middle income countries being disproportionally affected. Our work aims to study cardiovascular risk factors and health outcomes internationally and develop, implement and scale-up cost-efficient approaches for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease globally to contribute towards equity in health and well-being for all.

The Global Cardiovascular Health research group is involved in multi-center international studies on common cardiovascular risk factors and disease outcomes and clinical trials to test the effectiveness and impact of  evidence-based interventions for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) including low-cost medication. Research takes place in partnership with academic and health care organisations globally including African and Asian countries, such as South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Indonesia, Malaysia or Cambodia. 

Evidence-based clinical guidelines on CVD prevention suggest controlling modifiable risk factors to reduce the recurrence of cardiovascular events and mortality. The SUrvey of Risk Factors (SURF) study, a clinical audit aims to assess cardiovascular risk factor recording and management for secondary prevention globally to ensure good standard of care in daily practice and to improve outcomes through the systematic review of routine care.

Many countries struggle to find the best way to treat hypertension and type 2 diabetes, therefore many patients receive sub-optimal care, especially vulnerable groups in society. The European Commission/Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases-funded Scale-Up Hypertension and Diabetes Care (SCUBY) study assesses how the implementation and scale-up of an integrated chronic care package impacts hypertension and diabetes outcomes in Cambodia, Slovenia and Belgium. The lessons on scale-up will benefit policy-makers in other countries with similar contexts.

In the Integrating HIV and hEART health in South Africa (iHEART-SA) study funded by the National Institutes of Health, USA, as part of the ComorbiditieS Implementation Models in People Living with HIV Alliance, innovations for the prevention and management of hypertension and diabetes mellitus are tested to expand the scope of HIV care in a sustainable, scalable and impactful way in South Africa and beyond.

To better understand the impact of urbanization-related environment, societal and biological changes on the development of CVD along the life-course the Global Cardiovascular Health Resarch Group undertakes research in low-resource settings in Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania and Indonesia as well as in high income settings such as the Netherlands. The Research on Obesity and Diabetes in African Migrants (RODAM) study has shown high prevalence of cardiometabolic disease in urbanized settings both in Ghana and Europe. Work undertaken as part of the the Ndlovu Cohort Study, South Africa, as well as in urban slums in Nairobi, Kenya and elsewhere show the importance of social determinants for the prevention and management of life-style related cardiovascular risk factor and CVD. 

Early life factors are increasingly recognized as important determinants for subsequent health. Pregnancy cohorts set up in Asia and Africa,  assess the effects of environmental exposures on adverse maternal and child health (PEER-Health study) and consequences of gestational hypertension and diabetes on long-term health of mother and child. The SPOT-Studies in Ghana focus on prediction and  innovative implementation triage strategies for optimal clinical management of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

For more information about the scope of the work undertaken by the Global Cardiovascular Health Research Group please see our website:

Research team:

Dr. Kerstin Klipstein-Grobusch, PhD 

Prof. Dr. Diederick E Grobbee, MD PhD 

Dr. Cuno Uiterwaal, MD PhD

Dr. Daniel Boateng, PhD

Dr. Ilonca Vaartjes, PhD 

Dr. Sanne Peters,  PhD

Dr. Alinda Vos, MD PhD 

Dr. Joyce Browne, MD PhD

Dr. Alicia Uijl, PhD

Dr. Helene Voogdt-Pruis, PhD

Dr. George Downward, MD PhD

Dr. Virissa Lenters, PhD

Dr. Hannah Brown Amaokoh, MD PhD 

Dr. Karine Scheuermaier, MD PhD 

Dr. Ishaku Salisu, MD PhD

Prof. Dr. Michiel Bots MD PhD 

Prof. Dr. Folkert Asselbergs MD PhD

There are several PhD students, most of them based internationally, involved in the Global Cardiovascular Health Research group;

Anna Marza Florensa, MSc

Emmanuel Srofenyoh, MD MA

Engelbert Nonterah, MD MSc 

Ishaku Salisu, MD MPH

Klaartje Olde Loohuis, MD

Kwame Adu-Bonsaffoh, MD

Larske Soepnel, MD

Lulu Fundikira, MD

Mansour Alghamdi, MSc

Naiz Majani, MD

Reuben Mutagywa, MD

Robert Lamptey, MD

Solomon Nyame, MA

Timothy Olanrewaju, MD MSc 

Mei Fong Lim, MD

Linda Paulo Simon, MD MSc

Milka Njeri Wanjohi, MSc

Liu Mingwei, MSc

Victor Williams, MD MSc

Patane Shilabye, MSc


Associate Professor Kerstin Klipstein-Grobusch

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